There’s a property for sale on the edge of north Dallas that looks like any other Texas McMansion. It’s got a huge brick facade, dark windows, a well tended lawn, and columns flanking the entrance. But it’s all a front for a bizarre industrial interior, concrete floors and walls, generators, and fluorescent lighting.
This industrial nightmare nestled in suburbia can be yours for $989,000, according to a Zillow listing.
As first spotted by the Facebook group Zillow Gone Wild, the property at 13229 Southview Ln. is looking for a new owner. According to its listing on Zillow, it’s a “property unlike any other.”
“With walls, flooring, and ceiling made of concrete, this property can serve as the perfect storage spot for large wine collections, art collections, multiple cars, as well as serving as the ultimate safe house,” the listing said. “The building is connected to two electrical grids and also features a natural gas generator that is powered by two diesel fuel tanks in the event of a natural gas failure, making the chance of power loss a very rare. With office space as well as warehouse space and large outdoor area, there are many ways this property can be utilized.”
Losing power in Dallas is a very real possibility and the home’s natural gas generator is, indeed, a nice selling point. Everything else seems like a detriment for the average Dallas suburbanite.
How, exactly, did such a strange property end up on a suburban Dallas street? A Facebook comment holds clues and, probably, answers. “When AT&T wanted to build something in a residential neighborhood, the [homeowners association] fought it,” a comment on the Zillow Gone Wild Facebook group said. “AT&T promised to make it look like a home and that it would help home prices because it was bigger and nicer than the houses around it.”
Tax records indicate that AT&T previously owned the property. The other homes on Southview Ln are modest ranch homes half the size of this strange monstrosity. There’s another property one block up on 13352 Blossomheath Ln that also appears to be another large McMansion fronting some kind of industrial site. Dallas and its surrounding suburbs are cities obsessed with appearances. In 2018, a landscaping company in the area made headlines when it advertised its services by shaming neighbors with shabby lawns.
Industrial sites hidden in the landscape of urban and suburban life are also pretty common. There are several oil wells in Los Angeles that are covered to look like nondescript buildings. Fake front brownstones in Brooklyn camouflage city infrastructure. The National Security Agency partnered with AT&T to build nondescript office buildings that housed spying hubs across America, including Dallas.
The Verizon Building in Manhattan is a 32-story office tower that hides a wire filled datacenter behind its corporate facade. What’s weird is to see such a building on sale on Zillow, especially when nearby homes are selling for a third of the price.
The Dallas realtors who listed the property did not immediately return Motherboard’s request for comment.